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Just how true were those dramatic details about Watergate reporting? A juicy new book kicks up a fuss

10022581H2215805Jeff Himmelman, a former Washington Post researcher, has found himself in the middle of an ugly storm over his new book about Ben Bradlee, the Post's legendary Watergate-era editor.

I'm reading Himmelman's book, "Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee," for review in The News and finding it captivating. I'm also finding it juicy, something I didn't expect in an authorized biography.  Himmelman had extensive access not only to the 91-year-old Bradlee himself but to all the people around him and to boxes of letters and papers from his long reign as Post editor.

Who knew that Bradlee had doubts about some of the Hollywood-friendly details of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's reporting about Watergate source Deep Throat -- for example, the repeated meetings in a parking garage?  (Himmelman does not, for a moment, question the substance of the Watergate stories, it should be noted.)

Who knew that Post Publisher Katharine Graham had a longstanding crush on Bradlee, whom she named as editor, or that she reacted unhappily when Bradlee told her he was involved with a Post reporter, Sally Quinn, who would become his third wife?

Here's Himmelman's piece in the Daily Beast today, defending his reporting, which is (probably unfairly) under siege. And here is the Daily Beast's quick summary of seven scoops in the new book, including the one that is causing so much angst.

 For anyone interested in journalism, Watergate or presidential history, this is fascinating stuff.  

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(Photo of Ben Bradlee from the Washington Post) 

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